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How to buy a house for the first time: the beginners’ checklist

We believe buying a home is something that should be celebrated, so let’s help minimize the stress and get you geared up for all the steps to buying your first home.

Where to start when buying a house?

From finances and searching to viewings and contracts, there are a lot of steps involved in the home buying journey. But ultimately the first step in buying a home is feeling ready. Many will say that buying a home is a necessary life milestone, others will go on and on about how it’s better to buy than rent. Ultimately, the right time to buy a house is when you feel ready (and the global financial market is looking healthy).

If you’re ready to go, we’ve broken down the important milestones of the home buying journey so you can tick all the boxes and get the keys to your dream home.

First-time homebuyers’ guide

Prepare your finances

Making sure you’re financially ready to buy and afford a home is extremely important.

If you will need a mortgage, being mindful of other loans that you may have and having a strong credit score of above 700 is important. In the case that your credit score is low, you can work towards improving your credit score by paying your bills on time, managing your debt and credit utilization.

Be mindful of fees

Buying a home isn’t cheap and this doesn’t just mean the price of the property. You will be expected to pay for property fees, bank processing fees and even for the pre-title deed.

Take a look at a full breakdown of all the fees associated with buying a property in Dubai.

Talk to a mortgage expert

While doing things on your own and online can be convenient, it is good to have expert support when you’re a first-time homebuyer. Our mortgage consultants can provide you with the right information and guidance on the best mortgage for first-time homebuyers.

Create your home wishlist

What does your ideal home look like? Plan out your dream home with the ideal number of bedrooms, what the kitchen should look like, balcony or no balcony and even if you’d like it to be pet- or family-friendly.

Find your ideal home

Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to start searching. Our platform has a curated list of verified property listings and our property consultants are on hand to provide first-time home buyer advice and the necessary home buying tips to make your property search process smooth sailing.

Start searching for your ideal property with a wide range of Dubai neighborhoods covered.

Learn the real estate lingo

  • You should feel confident when talking to a real estate agent or even a mortgage broker. So learning some of the real estate lingo will help you not feel confused throughout the process. Some handy terms that will pop up in your home buying journey include:

  • Down payment is the upfront fee you pay as a deposit for your property. It’s a percentage of the property amount.

  • Form F is an agreement that has to be signed by the buyer and seller when purchasing a property. This is an electronic version of a Memorandum of Understanding.

  • Final offer letter (FOL) is a letter, completed post-valuation, stating the amount the bank will lend you, tenor, rates, life insurance, property insurance, and all the relevant information about your transaction.

  • Oqood, also known as pre-title, is the DLD property ownership document given to someone who owns a property that is not yet complete or handed over.

Check out the full list of real estate terms to get up to speed.

Tackle the final hurdle: conveyancing

Once you’ve found your ideal home, the last phase is the conveyancing and property transfer. Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring a property from one owner to another. Thankfully, you don’t have to do this on your own and we have a conveyancing team that can provide you with home buying assistance.

A conveyancer:

  • Helps identify problems and propose solutions to have the best possible chance of completing the transfer as planned

  • Keeps you updated and informed throughout the transaction

  • Drafts and confirms property transfer documents with buyer and seller

  • Completes all paperwork with the Dubai Land Department and utility companies

  • Advises on any potential issues or conditions relating to your property purchase

  • Handles the safe transfer of the final sale funds and new Title Deeds

We’ve got a full breakdown of how conveyancing works in Dubai and what to expect before getting the keys to your brand new property.


Written by Sana Telalovic

Published on 19 December 2022

Home buying made simple

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